(424g) In-Situ Probe Technique Applied to Partial Oxidation of Methane and Ethanol On Rh/Al2O3 Coated Monoliths | AIChE

(424g) In-Situ Probe Technique Applied to Partial Oxidation of Methane and Ethanol On Rh/Al2O3 Coated Monoliths


Deutschmann, O. - Presenter, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Diehm, C., Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Catalytic partial
oxidation (CPOX) of hydrocarbon fuels to hydrogen consists of a complex
coupling of heterogeneous and homogeneous reactions as well as mass and heat
transport phenomena. A profound understanding of these processes is crucial for
the design and optimization of CPOX reformers. To gain a deeper insight,
in-situ sampling techniques are employed [1-3], which yield spatially-resolved
concentration and temperature profiles. However, the influence of the probe on
the measured data has to be evaluated [4]. Herein, we present
experimentally-obtained axial profiles for CPOX of ethanol on a Rh/g-Al2O3
coated honeycomb catalyst for various C/O ratios. In addition, different
channels of the monolith were examined for CPOX of ethanol and methane. The influence
of the probe on the measured data was evaluated by CFD simulations for CPOX of

For the experiments, a
monolithic honeycomb (600 channels per square inch (cpsi), Ø 19 mm, L = 10 mm)
coated with Rh on a g-Al2O3 washcoat was used. Uncoated monoliths
(600 cpsi, Ø = 19 mm, L = 10 mm) were placed as heat shields in front of (front
heat shield, FHS) and behind the catalyst (back heat shield, BHS), with a gap
of 5 mm between the FHS and the catalyst. With a capillary (outer
diameter = 170 mm), a constant gas sample was sucked from the channel
at the tip of the capillary. The gas composition was analyzed by means of FT-IR
and MS. The temperature profiles were obtained by a thermocouple (gas phase temperature)
and an optical fiber connected to a pyrometer (surface temperature).

The computational fluid dynamics
(CFD) code FLUENT was applied for the calculations. The computational domain
(Figure 1, right) included nine channels of the monolith. Nine different
positions of the probe tip inside the catalytic channel were examined. To solve
the residence time of the fluid t downstream z = 0, an additional transport equation
was implemented into the code. The solid was not included in the simulations;
the measured wall temperature was used as a boundary condition.

Typical profiles along a catalytic channel for the concentrations of the
reactants and main products are shown for CPOX of ethanol (C/O = 0.75) in
Figure 2 (lines with symbols). Two different catalytic zones are observed in
the catalytic channel: an oxy-reforming zone with total oxidation and reforming
reactions as dominating reactions, and a reforming zone, where all oxygen has
been consumed, with only reforming reactions as prevalent reactions. Water
(Figure 2) is formed in total oxidation at the catalyst entrance and is
partially consumed along the catalytic channel in steam reforming (SR). The
surface temperature (Figure 2, solid line) reflects the dominating reactions
with a hot spot on the first millimeter inside the channel caused by exothermic
total oxidation and a following decrease in temperature due to endothermic
reforming reactions, e.g. SR. For ethanol CPOX, pre-catalytic gas-phase
reactions, mainly oxidative dehydrogenation of ethanol to water and
acetaldehyde (not shown), are observed. The gas-phase temperature (Figure 2,
dashed line) increases in front of the catalyst due to heat radiation from the
front of the catalyst, which favors the gas-phase reactions.

 Figure 1 shows the
used computational domain (right) and the calculated distribution of H2
(left, upper half) and the residence time (left, lower half) for CPOX of
methane in a yz-plane starting upstream of the catalyst and ending at 6 mm
inside the catalytic channel. Comparing the residence time in a reference
channel without the probe (channelref)
with the channel with the probe (channelprobe), a longer residence
time is observed for channelprobe. Also, a higher hydrogen
concentration is observed in the channelprobe than in the channelref.

A comparison of the
experimentally measured profiles for methane CPOX (symbols) with calculations
for a channel with capillary (channelprobe, dashed lines) and a
channel without capillary (channelref, solid lines) is shown in
Figure 3.

A deviation between
channelref and channelprobe is clearly observable. This
is due to the boundary layer, which forms at the outer wall of the capillary.
The suction rate does not influence the simulated results, as the sampled gas
volume is small compared to the volume flux in the channel. The influence of the
probe is dependent on the position of the probe tip in the catalytic channel.
The further downstream the probe tip is positioned, the bigger the deviation
between channelprobe and channelref. The measured data
are more similar to the calculated values for a channel with capillary than for
one without.

By utilizing the in-situ
sampling technique, a deeper insight into the reaction network is gained. The
spatially-resolved concentration and temperature profiles reveal the dominant
reaction pathways and pre-catalytic reactions like oxidative dehydrogenation in
the case of ethanol. However, the influence of the probe on the measured data
has to be taken into account. 3D simulations are necessary to evaluate the
influence of the probe.

R. Horn, K.A. Williams, N.J. Degenstein and L.D. Schmidt, Journal of Catalysis,
242 (2006) 92.

A. Donazzi, D. Livio, M. Maestri, A. Beretta, G. Groppi, E. Tronconi and P.
Forzatti, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 50 (2011) 3943.

D. Livio, C. Diehm, A. Donazzi, A. Beretta and O. Deutschmann, in preparation.

[4]          M. Hettel,
C. Diehm, B. Torkashvand and O. Deutschmann, Catalysis Today, submitted.


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